Thiruvananthapuram: BJP, on Wednesday, formally announced the candidature of party’s state vice-president Sobha Surendran in Kazhakuttom.
Candidates for three other seats — Kollam, Karunagappally and Mananthavady — were also announced by the BJP parliamentary board. Mukundan Palliyara, son of tribal leader Palliyara Raman of Wayanad, has been fielded in Mananthavady seat. The party had earlier announced the candidature of tribal youth Manikandan for the seat. However, he refused to accept the offer within hours after BJP released the candidate list last Sunday. Bitty Sudheer and M Sunil have been announced as candidates for Karunagappally and Kollam seats.
Reacting to Sobha’s candidature, Union minister V Muraleedharan said he would try his best to ensure Sobha wins in Kazhakuttom where he finished second against CPM candidate Kadakampally Surendran in the previous assembly election. There were allegations that Muraleedharan and the BJP state leadership were trying to deny Kazhakuttom seat to Sobha.
“Sobha is the most eligible candidate to win Kazhakuttom seat for BJP,” he said, adding that the central leadership had intervened in the selection of all 115 candidates in the fray in Kerala. Muraleedharan had lost the seat to Kadakampally for 7,000 odd votes in 2016. “We all wanted a candidate who could bridge this gap and win the seat. Sobha is a suitable candidate to cross the winning margin,” he told reports in New Delhi.